The Ellen Hermanson Foundation Elevates Hamptons Fundraising with Two Premiere Events This Summer to aid the Battle against Breast Cancer

© Lenny Stucker Photography 2019/
© Lenny Stucker Photography 2019/

This summer in the Hamptons two important philanthropic initiatives will help enlighten and bring much-needed awareness to an important cause. The 28th Annual ELLEN'S RUN and the Summer Gala will be held at the scenic Bridgehampton Tennis & Surf Club.

Co-founder Julie Ratner continually spearheads crucial fundraising efforts for The Ellen Hermanson Foundation through two essential benefits. Under Ratner's leadership, The Ellen Hermanson Foundation has awarded over $6 million in grants since its inception.

Having changed the medical landscape of the East End of Long Island by ensuring access to state-of-the- art breast health care and empowering people with cancer, The Ellen Hermanson Breast Center is recognized as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology. The great task of no one being turned away due to lack of health insurance is just one crucial life-changing effort. There is also an emergency medical fund that provides essential services and its Community Partnerships with the Bridgehampton Child Care and Recreational Center, OLA (Organización Latino-Americana), the Retreat and the Shinnecock Indian Health Center. No patient is turned away from the Ellen Hermanson Breast Center for lack of insurance or inability to pay for treatment.

To support the system set up through the foundation, various fundraisers throughout the summer have been curated and created. This season kicks off with the 28th Annual ELLEN'S RUN in Southampton, a day of sportsmanship and community gathering. The Run has proudly been named Best Sporting Event by Dan's Papers: Best of the Best for several consecutive years.

Registered runners and walkers at the prestigious event can sprint or walk 3.1 miles. Even if you cannot be in the Hamptons in person, you can join virtually to help raise funds with a post of your walk anytime, anywhere. Everyone who registers receives a complimentary t-shirt and finishers medal.

The First Annual Ellen's Run attracted more than 500 participants and raised more than $62,000. Ellen's Run has now become the largest race on the South Fork, with nearly 900 registered participants.

Following, the Summer Gala will take place at the beautiful waterfront Bridgehampton Tennis & Surf Club. The premiere soiree will honor Dr. Edna Kapenhas, Medical Director of The Ellen Hermanson Breast Center and Stony Brook Southampton Hospital as well as Victoria Schneps. President and Co-Publisher Schneps Media. Ticketed guests can gather for a divine night of cocktails, dinner, dancing, as well as a beach bonfire. A sponsored live auction will raise crucial funds with featured tickets to Stephen Colbert, a Billy Joel concert at Madison Square Garden, and even opening night admittance to the famed Metropolitan Opera.

Both fundraisers will showcase the important and heartwarming mission of Julie and The Ellen Hermanson Foundation, which she founded in 1996 with her sister Emily Levin.  Named in honor of their younger sister, Ellen, who died in 1995 of breast cancer at the age of 42.

Ellen Hermanson was an articulate, courageous, and indomitable warrior in the war against breast cancer. She began her personal battle with the disease in February 1989 when doctors diagnosed her with breast cancer while she was still nursing her six-month-old daughter. Ellen fought against her disease medically by undergoing surgery and aggressive chemotherapy.

She became an active member of the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS), which advocates for survivors of all types of cancer. Later she served on its board and edited its quarterly newsletter, The Networker. When Ellen looked to her own heritage for spiritual support and sustenance, she found that what she sought did not exist. Instead of bemoaning this lack, Ellen became one of the founders of the Jewish Healing Center. She also served as the organization's founding executive director and the first editor of its newsletter, The Outstretched Arm.

Later, they appointed her as the first executive director of the Judges and Lawyers Breast Cancer Alert. Ellen coordinated and organized their annual October symposium, bringing together doctors and lawyers to tackle cutting-edge issues in health law and policy confronting cancer patients. In the fall of 1992, doctors diagnosed Ellen with a recurrence of her disease, this time in her bones. Ellen continued her work. Although she underwent chemotherapy and would remain on chemo for the rest of her life, her condition worsened. Ellen's many projects included editing the Annual Report of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center for 1993.

In November 1994, Ellen delivered an important speech entitled "One Patient's Pain" at the NCCS annual conference. She was weak, barely able to walk, and facing hip replacement surgery that her doctors agreed to delay until after the conference. It was at this conference that Justice Sandra Day O'Connor spoke of her breast cancer.

Ellen lost her hard-fought battle with breast cancer on April 11th, 1995, at the age of 42. She worked on an article exploring the Internet's potential as an information and sharing source for patients and families. Ellen left a legacy of dignity, courage, determination, grace, and love to all who knew her. To honor her memory, we founded The Ellen Hermanson Foundation to support and carry on the vital work she initiated.

Since 1997, The Ellen Hermanson Foundation transformed East End Long Island's medical landscape, addressing high breast cancer rates. Committed to the community, the Foundation funds advanced medical equipment and screenings at The Ellen Hermanson Breast Center. Proceeds benefit Ellen's Well, a free psycho-social program offering support and healing opportunities to breast cancer survivors. The Ellen Hermanson Breast Center does not turn anyone away due to lack of insurance or an inability to pay. Over the past 27 years, The Ellen Hermanson Foundation has awarded more than $6 million in grants.

The IRS and the State of New York recognize The Ellen Hermanson Foundation as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

Currently, Julie is a member of the National Breast Cancer Coalition and the New York State Breast Cancer Network. She served on various boards, including League Education (President), Congressman Tim Bishop's Breast Cancer Advisory, and more.

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